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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire! (Luke 24:32)
I asked a young man how his spiritual growth was going.
He said, “I’m reading the Bible a lot, and several devotionals.”
I said, “And how is that impacting you?”
He said, “I’m always looking for personal applications – how I can apply what I learn.”
And that, my friend, is one half of spiritual growth, what I call outwardly inward.
You read the Bible, you hear a sermon, you read your daily devotion, you listen to a teacher, you talk to Christian friends and hold one another accountable. That is outwardly inward. It starts outside of you, you receive it, and you allow it inside of you to change your heart and mind.
And then there is inwardly outward. What is that?
That is when the Holy Spirit inside of you is teaching you and leading you, convicting you and encouraging you and cheering you on...from the inside of you.
In John 7, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be inside of us, and would be like rivers of living water, flowing from the inside out.
Hebrews 10:16 says, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”
This is what the Holy Spirit does. He brings us spiritual growth from the inside out. It begins inwardly and works outward.
So when you are looking at your spiritual growth, look for two things.
Are you reading and listening and learning from the Bible and teachers and preachers, and applying what you’ve heard?
AND...is the Holy Spirit speaking inside of you, leading and guiding and teaching you, and raising up the gifts and the fruit of the Spirit inside of you?
Because that is how spiritual growth takes place: outwardly inward and inwardly outward.
May God bless you, today.
I’m Doug Apple.